Writing a leaflet

It is a common mistake to try to pack as many words as possible into a flyer. But a leaflet is not the medium for conveying a lot of complex information – use a briefing or newsletter for that. The leaflet can point the reader in the direction of more detailed content.

Leaving plenty of blank space for the text to be easily digestible in the 10 seconds you have to grab the reader's attention will be more effective than cramming in more words.

Front

The front of a flyer should have:

  • A small amount of explanatory text (of roughly 40 words)
  • A concise ‘tag line’, preferably an action which the reader can take
  • If it helps get the message over, an appropriate image.

At the foot of the page link to a website, e-action, Facebook page/group, Twitter account and/or contact email address.

Back

The back of a flyer should have:

  • A short, easily understood headline
  • More detailed text (of not more than 200 words)
  • If appropriate a concise ‘tag line’, preferably an action which the reader can take.

At the foot of the page link to a website, e-action, Facebook page/group, Twitter account and/or contact email address.

Points to consider

  • Stop and think before you start writing.
  • Make a list of the points you want to make in a logical order.
  • Because of the physical size of a flyer, your message is more likely to be read and acted upon if it is short and concise. If you have a complex message, another format may be more appropriate.
  • Prefer short words. Long words will not impress your members or supporters or help your writing style.
  • Use everyday English whenever possible. Avoid jargon and legalistic words, and always explain any technical terms you have to use.
  • Keep your sentence length down to an average of 15 to 20 words. Try to stick to one main idea in a sentence.
  • Use active verbs as much as possible. Say ‘we will do it’ rather than ‘it will be done by us’. Make the reader feel part of what is happening, rather than a passive recipient of the message
  • Be concise.
  • Imagine you are talking to your reader. Write sincerely, personally, in a style that
  • is suitable and with the right tone of voice.
  • Always check that your writing is clear, helpful, human and polite.
  • Think about leaflets that have got your attention and why.

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